Since our last report, BHI has shifted our efforts in order to respond to the current global pandemic which has affected countless agencies and non-profit healthcare providers. Before COVID, we were training El Salvadoran clinicians to work in the rural areas where women are most vulnerable to dying of cervical cancer. As of late March our GlobalGiving project received over $6k of funding toward the $30k goal needed for the project’s cervical cancer training to screen 43,000+ women in the Central and Paracentral regions of El Salvador. Within days of our campaign to fund this effort, El Salvador went into government enforced lockdown and is just now making plans to emerge slowly from quarantine.
The country has been hit hard by the pandemic. During quarantine BHI has been working on the front lines with the El Salvador Ministry of Health and other non-profit health agencies to manage the spread of the disease. BHI is currently focusing on providing COVID testing as we work to validate a rapid test that can be used in low resource settings. Our goal is to stabilize the country’s health so that we can return to cervical cancer screening. Until COVID recedes, cancer patients are at especially high risk.
BHI is using a rapid test in El Salvador to screen approximately 1,000 individuals to determine the test’s feasibility in a low resource area. BHI has the full cooperation of the Ministry of Health in El Salvador. The immediate impact of this study will be to move on to widespread population testing, making it safer to resume cancer care and screening. Lab infrastructures created during our COVID work will have long term impact beyond the pandemic when it can be used for the detection of HPV, HIV, and many other diseases.
Thank you for continuing to support BHI’s impactful research. Cervical cancer is still a very significant disease in El Salvador, and we are working to raise the remaining $24k to continue training health promoters, nurses and physicians in cervical cancer prevention. We will screen and treat 43k+ women as soon as it is safe enough to do so, donations toward this effort are still necessary and important - please continue to give.
We ask that you follow your local COVID-19 guidelines and stay well,
Your friends at Basic Health International